AN investigation into allegations Knights forward Mitch Barnett racially abused an opponent during Newcastle's loss to Gold Coast on Friday night has "not been able to determine the matter".
The NRL launched the investigation after Titans player Tyrone Peachey told a referee that he had been racially abused by a Newcastle player.
On Tuesday, the governing body said its examination of the incident had come to an end.
"The NRL Integrity Unit interviewed or received statements from the players involved in the matter, players from both teams in the vicinity of the incident, match officials, club officials, and reviewed footage and audio from the broadcast and internal comms records," the NRL said in a statement.
"The NRL's investigation, conducted under the game's Anti-Vilification Code, has not been able to determine the matter and the facts remain contested by each player.
"In accordance with the provisions of the code, both players involved will now be referred to a conciliation process."
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said the outcome of that process would be monitored closely.
"Rugby league is an inclusive game and we take our duty of care to all of our players very seriously. It is important that every player feels supported when they make a complaint, and we want to see our players take a leadership role in speaking out," he said.
"It is also important that where there is a dispute as to what has been said, the Game has a process designed to bring the parties together to address those matters in an appropriate way. My priority right now is monitoring the welfare of both players. I'm hopeful a conciliation meeting will find a resolution that benefits both players."
Barnett had been adamant he had nothing to fear from an investigation into the incident.
Peachey claims Barnett called him a "black c***" when the pair came together in a tackle during the second half of Newcastle's 36-6 loss on the Gold Coast.
At the time, Peachey complained to referee Chris Sutton, saying: "That backrower just called me a black c***".
When asked several times by Sutton if he wanted to make an on-field complaint about the incident, Peachey declined and walked away. Audio of his conversation with the referee was picked up by broadcaster Fox Sports.
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